Thanks to lovely, local Laura’s recommendation, foodietraveller was hot to trot to experience a new cafe in Denarau. Newly opened Cafe O is the creation of experienced F & B Manager and current Wedding Stylist, Cherie Oyagawa-Smith. Cherie, half Samoan and half Japanese, has spent many years in Fiji and her family has now settled in New Zealand. Her cafe theme was influenced by her Prof Chef brother John, who runs a successful Cafe O catering business in Grey Lynn, Auckland. Note to self.
Tucked away by the Palms, opposite the entrance to Port Denarau, Cafe O is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is soon to offer a delivery service. The setting is very fresh, chic and trendy and you can dine inside or al fresco to the sound of running water from the pool/fountain. The other Cafe O is located in Martindar ( where I lived temporarily whilst doing my volunteer, nutrition project), and it’s taken the place of the former Taste Fiji Kitchen, which has relocated further up the road. That’s a goodie to try also.
I had the most delicious, gluten-free, Thai beef salad for lunch. They also feature a chicken and avocado, or caesar salad, a wrap, burger, laksa, pad thai, fish and chips, and two pasta dishes. Breakfast offers hotcakes, a fruit platter, muesli, omelette, sunrise salad (paleo), potato cake, spiced eggs, big brekkie or build your own brekkie.
Hubby and I returned for dinner and then again with friends as it was sooo good. The coconut-crusted prawns and delicious homemade pita breads and dips were excellent entrees. The presentation was faultless. We then tried the crispy roast pork on eggplant which was the favourite along with the stunningly, refreshingly, spicy, tangy papaya salad. The Thai green and pork/pineapple curries were rich and delicious also. My steak sandwich (adapted without the bread) with fries, was fabulous. We chose some side salads and asked for a Thai dressing with ours. You can also order fries or garlic bread.
They have a great selection of sandwiches, cakes, slices as well as delicious organic Fiji coffee, teas, tropical juices and smoothies. Their latte art is fabulous and they provided us with a Bula designed coffee. We sampled the brownie and their signature coconut cake for dessert and these were fabulous. The wine list deserves a special mention, and I would highly recommend a glass or bottle of Lawhill’s Richland Shiraz.
Prices, portions and presentation are excellent here, considering that Fiji is expensive. Service is very friendly however you are on Fiji time, so be warned it’s very slow. I still can’t pinpoint after all these years of visiting as to why there has been no change in this area, however maybe it’s just the culture. Obviously there is no Gordon Ramsey in their kitchens! See you next time Cafe O.